Moving?

I thought I would let my followers know that I have started a book blog. I know I wrote a reviews and book related things on here but it was also mixed with fashion. I have a lot of followers on here from fashion blogs so I thought I would create a blog that would be just for reading and books. 

The blog can be found at; http://bookmagedotcom.wordpress.com/

I hope you enjoy it. 

Keats & Chapman Books

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I don’t usually post things about places to visit but I thought that I should share my favourite bookshop with everyone. It is called Keats and Chapman, it was previously known as “The Bookshop”, and it located in Belfast, Northern Ireland. This shop literally has books piled from floor to ceiling. One of my favourite things about it is how small it looks from the outside, it makes it seem almost magical when you step inside and you discover that the shop is very long and has lots of passages that have been created using bookcases. It is the Tardis of bookshops, it is bigger on the inside.

New stock is added regularly and the staff are friendly and willing to help you locate any book you are looking for. I  have found a few first editions in the store to add to my book collection as well. The place might seem a little messy but everything is organised into specific sections so it is very easy for you to find your way around. It is a perfect place for anyone like me who wants to spend a day combing through piles of books. It doesnt always have what I am looking for but I usually leave with a pile of books any way.

Anyone in the Belfast area who loves books has to pay this place a visit. You wont regret it. Click the links below for a map and driving directions.

 

 

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer – Michelle Hodkin

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Summary from Goodreads.com: “Mara Dyer doesn’t think life can get any stranger. She wakes from a coma in hospital with no memory of how she got there or of the bizarre accident that caused the deaths of her best friends and her boyfriend, yet left her mysteriously unharmed. The doctors suggest that starting over in a new city, a new school, would be good for her and just to let the memories gradually come back on their own.

But Mara’s new start is anything but comforting. She sees the faces of her dead friends everywhere, and when she suddenly begins to see other people’s deaths right before they happen, Mara wonders whether she’s going crazy! And if dealing with all this wasn’t enough, Noah Shaw, the most beautiful boy she has ever seen can’t seem to leave her alone… but as her life unravels around her, Mara can’t help but wonder if Noah has another agenda altogether…”

I could possibly ramble on about this book for hours but I will try to stop myself and avoid giving out any spoilers because I want everyone to read this. I LOVED this book and I also finished reading the second one in the series a few days ago. It is the first book of a trilogy and I simply cant wait until the final book comes out in November.

I related to the main character Mara so much as I myself struggle with mental health issues. Everything in the book is from her point of view  so it does a fantastic job of making you feel as frustrated and confused as she is most of the time to the point where you start getting angry while reading it, but in a good way. It also means that you find yourself a little confused about what is actually happening in the book and what is just her imagination.

Her love interest, Noah, is also brilliant. I might be a little bias about that though since I like men who are sort of jerkfaces, like Jace and Will in the Cassandra Clare books and Finnick in The Hunger Games.

I cant believe that this is actually the first book by this author and I will happily throw it at anyone who asks to suggest something to read. Dont be surprised if this is on my favourites list for 2014 at the end of the year.

Mrs Hudson’s Diaries: A View from the Landing at 221B – Barry Cryer and Bod Cryer

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Summary from Goodreads.com: “One frosty winter morning, deep in the vaults of Cox & Co. at Charing Cross, a battered biscuit tin is discovered… Inside are the diaries of that longsuffering resident of 221b Baker Street, Sherlock Holmes’ landlady, the unflappable Mrs Hudson. She presents her portrait of life with the great detective and his ever-faithful companion with relish, mustard and no small amount of dropped eaves. Mysterious visitors, disappearances, shouts and bangs – life below stairs at 221b is often silly, slapstick and sentimental in equal measure. These diaries offer an affectionate and hilarious sketch of a remarkably enterprising Victorian female, whose humorous musings encompass talking to the spirit world, dancing with government officials and nights at the music hall. Interspersed with Mrs Hudson’s fascinating keepsakes – letters, recipes, calling cards and photos – this is a must-have addition for any Sherlock Holmes aficionado. Behind every great man is an even greater woman … demanding rent.” 

I promised a review on this book back in January so here it is. Mrs Hudson’s Diaries was a very short but sweet book. Personally I love Mrs Hudson and it was brilliant to get a chance to know her as something other than being Sherlock Holmes’ housekeeper. You find out about her love for boxing and the friends she spent time with when she wasn’t cleaning up after Sherlock’s messes. The dairy takes place over many years, starting from the tenant she had before Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson to when Holmes leaves Baker Street for good and her life after him. You finally get a chance to hear her side of things, whether those things be her thoughts on Jack the Ripper roaming London or her eavesdropping on Sherlock and Watson’s arguments. The book also contains images of various photographs, cards and tickets she has collected over the years.

I would highly recommend this novel to anyone who loves Sherlock Holmes and anything related to the stories for a quick read.

Holiday Season Book Haul

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I would call this a Christmas book haul but some of these books I ended up purchasing myself using money that I was given by a relative. I suppose they are still Christmas presents but they were bought after Christmas and the last one only arrived today.

The Hunger Games Series 

This set was among the Christmas presents from my boyfriend. I have already read all of The Hunger Games trilogy but he knows that when I really like a book or series that I want the hard copy of it instead of just having it on my ereader.

These copies of the book have metallic covers and they are beautifully embossed. I had never seen the series with this sort of cover before so I was amazed when I opened my present. All of the books have mockingjays on them and you can see almost all of the feather detail in the birds.

Mrs Hudson’s Diaries: A View From the Landing at 221b

This was a present from a very close friend of mine. She is a fellow long term Sherlock Holmes fan so she usually buys me Sherlock themed gifts.

I had never heard of this book before. From what I can gather from the back of the book and flicking through it, it is about different events that happened in 221b from Mrs Hudson’s point of view and it is written in the form of diary entries. I will be starting to read it tonight and I might write a review on it afterward. It isn’t very long so it shouldn’t take me too long to work my way through it.

 

 

The Shadowhunter’s Codex

This is one of the books that I bought with my Christmas money. It was also on sale at the time so that was a bonus.

Words cannot express how much I love this book! I am yet to read it from cover to cover but it has been amazing so far. It is a book explaining everything about the world of Shadowhunters from the Cassandra Clare series’ so it is wonderfully detailed and full of information that you probably didn’t already know about Shadowhunters. Also it is Clary’s copy of the codex so it is full of doodles, notes and scribbled conversations from Clary, Simon and Jace.

If you like any of Cassandra Clare’s books you have to own this because it is simply fantastic and funny.

Percy Jackson and The Last Olympian

Another purchase with my Christmas money and I only finished reading it today.

This is the last book of the Percy Jackson series and I had been spending months trying to find it in stock in shops where I live but I didnt have any luck until recently. This book is probably the best of the Percy Jackson series. I actually shouted at it a few times, and I usually judge how good a book is by whether or not I yell at the characters in the book while reading it.

 

 

 

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer

Christmas money strikes again. I have been wanting to read this book for a long time but none of the shops in Belfast seem to carry it. I really don’t know why. I spent months looking for it and never found it so I ended up having to buy it from Amazon and it only arrived this morning.

I have heard a lot of good things about this book and the plot sounds fascinating so I really cant wait to get stuck into it. It is on my to-read list after Mrs Hudson’s Diaries since Mrs Hudson is quite short and a present from a real person who probably wants to know what I think of their present.

London Haul!

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This post is a couple of months late. I went to London in October but I have finally got around to writing about it.
I went a little overboard with shopping while in London but I visited so many awesome places and a lot of them were related to fandoms that I am into so I couldn’t help myself. I will try to sort the items according to where I bought them.

Camden Market

The two main items that I bought from Camden Market were my 2D bag and my top hat. I did buy other smaller items like bows and a necklace from a Lolita stall and a Doctor Who t-shirt but I was more excited by my bag and hat.

I will warn you now. If you buy a 2D bag from Camden Market you might end up with a faulty one. I am not saying that all sellers sell faulty bags but the one I bought ended up breaking a week after I came home from my holiday. It really disappointed me because I loved how it looked and it used to confuse people when they saw it. R.I.P Bag. (I will buy a replacement online in your memory)

I was so happy to find a top hat on this trip. I have wanted one for years but I kept seeing them for sale for £30 or more so when I managed to haggle the price of this one down to £18 I just had to have it. It matched the Jack the Ripper t-shirt I bought from London Dungeon.

The Doctor Who Museum 

I only bought a fez from the Doctor Who shop and museum. I have always wanted one and when I saw that they were selling them for only £7 it was an instant purchase. Also I was already wearing a bow tie and other Doctor Who related accessories so my outfit was missing a fez.

It was also my headgear for the Doctor Who marathon I held in our hotel room once we got back and I wore it to the cinema for the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary showing. Fezes are cool.

Forbidden Planet 

We have a Forbidden Planet store here in Belfast but it is probably half of the size of the one in London. Sadly the only thing that I bought was a Doctor Who t-shirt that looks like the top half of the 11th Doctor’s costume. They had other things that I wanted but I really had problems trying to make my mind up.

 

 

Tokyo Toys

Tokyo Toys is one of the places in London where I had to stop myself from buying everything in the shop. They sell anime merchandise and I pretty much ran to it once we were in London.

I seemed to be collecting t-shirts on this trip so I couldn’t say no to this adorable pikachu t-shirt. I had been planning to buy the same one from ebay so I jumped at the chance to buy it in person. I didn’t know that it had a tail until I was trying it on back at the hotel. There was a lot of “Look at my tail!” butt wriggling going on after that discovery.

I wear contact lenses and I like cake so I needed this contact lens case. I actually had  to run back to the store to buy it because they kept them next to the cashier, so I didn’t spot them until I was already leaving. It only cost me £3 and they have been home to my contacts ever since. They are so much more cute and colourful than regular contact lens cases.

This hat probably looks strange if you are not an anime fan, and yes I do wear it in public, occasionally. This hat is actually my reason for going to Tokyo Toys. I wanted the hat of Ace from One Piece and since I don’t like ordering hats online in case they get crushed and they were only selling it for £17 I needed it. I wore it around London for the rest of the day once I got it.

The Sherlock Holmes Museum 

I have mentioned before on this blog that I am a huge Sherlock Holmes fan. I have been for around 15 years now. It is probably strange that I only bought a duck from the museum but I had been to it before and friends have brought be back items from it when they have traveled to London so I already had all of the obvious items from it. Sherlock Duck solves all of the mysteries of bath time though.

Harry Potter Studios

I could write a blog post just about my experiences at The Harry Potter Studios. I also cant find images of the other item I bought which is an auror badge, which means that I can officially fight dark wizards now.

This t-shirt was actually a gift from my boyfriend who bought it while we were visiting the studios. It has a thestral on it and says “I can see them too, you are just as sane as I am.” It reminded him of me for some reason. I never thought of myself as a Luna.

Platform 9 and 3/4

The shop next to Platform 9 and 3/4 mainly sold wizarding school supplies, sweets, wands and uniforms. I bought a couple of chocolate frogs and boxes of Bertie Botts Every Flavour Beans but they ended up getting magically eaten instead of making their way back to Belfast.

I bought myself a quill. I have written with a proper quill before but this one has a built in ball point pen so you don’t need any ink. You just use it like a regular pen. I haven’t had much of a chance to use this yet because I am worried that the feather part will get ruined in my bag if I carry it around.

A must have souvenir from your visit to Platform 9 and 3/4: Your ticket to Hogwarts. They are very beautifully made and are printed in shimmering gold ink. I ended up keeping it in a little plastic envelope to keep it safe.

That is everything that I bought from London, with the exception of a few items that I couldnt find images of. I dont usually do haul blog posts. I might make them a thing. I really havent decided yet.

Top 5 Books/Series’ That I Have Read in 2013

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1. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children – Ransom Riggs

Synopsis: “A horrific family tragedy sends Jacob to a remote island off Wales, to the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, where he finds unusual old photographs. The children, one his grandfather, were more than peculiar, perhaps dangerous, quarantined for good reason – and maybe still alive.”

This book is weird in a good way. It uses real vintage photographs to help tell the story and that makes it a wonderful mixture of quirky and creepy. I read this book at the start of the year and I still keep recommending it to people. I think it has now made a place for itself on my “favourite books of all time” list.

 

2. City of Ashes /The entire Mortal Instruments series – Cassandra Clare

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Synopsis from City of Bones (aka book 1) – “Clary Fray is an ordinary teenager, who likes hanging out in Brooklyn with her friends. But everything changes the night she witnesses a murder, committed by a group of teens armed with medieval weaponry. The murderous group are Shadowhunters, secret warriors dedicated to driving demons out of this dimension and back into their own. Drawn inexorably into a terrifying world, Clary slowly begins to learn the truth about her family – and the battle for the fate of the world.”

The reason why I have listed City of Ashes as my favourite instead of the first book City of Bones is because City of Ashes is a slightly better book. If anyone was to try to read this series I would suggest that they  read the first two books before they judge it. City of Ashes is where all of the world building takes place in the series. In general this series is just full of wonderfully sassy characters, so much so they actually had to cut a lot of sass from the movie.

3. The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins

Synopsis: “In a dark vision of the near future, a terrifying reality TV show is taking place. Twelve boys and twelve girls are forced to appear in a live event called the Hunger Games. There is only one rule: kill or be killed.

When sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen steps forward to take her sister’s place in the games, she sees it as a death sentence. But Katniss has been close to death before. For her, survival is second nature.”

This series is probably more like joint second with the Mortal Instruments series. I only watched the film for the first time this year and I didn’t expect to like it as much as I did, of course that led to me reading the books right after watching the 2nd movie. It bothers me that people get put off it by others talking about the “love triangle” that is supposed to be in that but I really didn’t see one.

I finished Mockingjay today and I still haven’t recovered from it.

4. The Percy Jackson Series – Rick Riordan

Synopsis: “Percy Jackson is about to be kicked out of boarding school…again. And that’s the least of his troubles. Lately, mythological monsters and the gods of Mount Olympus seem to be walking straight out of the pages of Percy’s Greek mythology textbook and into his life. And worse, he’s angered a few of them. Zeus’s master lightning bolt has been stolen, and Percy is the prime suspect.”

This series is for younger readers and found in the teenage section, but then again, so is Harry Potter, so I dont care. I am a mythology nerd so I just had to read this series. The books are 1000 times better than the films and how mythological creatures and gods are modernized in the series is just brilliant.

5. The Night Circus – Erin Morgenstern

Synopsis; “The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night. “

I cant really explain this book other than telling you to go read it for yourself. It is really unique and if you have a love of fantasy, pretty things, magic and maybe even steampunk you will probably like this book.

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Outfit of the Day : Boyfriend’s Birthday

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Skirt: New Look

Blouse: Internationale

Cardigan: New Look

Shoes: New Look

Socks: Internationale

Serafuku bow: Ebay

This outfit is loosely based on a Japanese school uniform. It is usually what I wear when I am aiming more for the cute end of the outfit scale. I chose a sleeveless blouse simply because it is easier to keep cool in while wearing a cardigan and possibly a coat over it while outside. When you tuck the blouse in and wear the buttoned up cardigan over it you dont notice the difference between that shirt and a normal long sleeved one. The bow I bought from a Lolita enthusiast I know personally but she originally purchased it from Ebay. I might consider adding a hairband or bow to my hair while wearing this but I am not entirely sure. I am just looking forward to eating Japanese food all day for my boyfriend’s birthday.

The Infernal Devices Series – Cassandra Clare

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Summary from Goodreads.com: “In a time when Shadowhunters are barely winning the fight against the forces of darkness, one battle will change the course of history forever. Welcome to the Infernal Devices trilogy, a stunning and dangerous prequel to the New York Times bestselling Mortal Instruments series.

The year is 1878. Tessa Gray descends into London’s dark supernatural underworld in search of her missing brother. She soon discovers that her only allies are the demon-slaying Shadowhunters—including Will and Jem, the mysterious boys she is attracted to. Soon they find themselves up against the Pandemonium Club, a secret organization of vampires, demons, warlocks, and humans. Equipped with a magical army of unstoppable clockwork creatures, the Club is out to rule the British Empire, and only Tessa and her allies can stop them.”

It might be a little strange but I read this series before I read The Mortal Instruments and it turned me on to the entire Shadowhunter collection. I loved this series and as a fan of steampunk I would highly recommend it to anyone who is into steampunk literature.

As I am not a fan of romantic novels with love triangles I was surprised to find myself very emotionally invested in what happened with the characters in the books. It was also hard for me to pick who I wanted Tessa to end up with because both of the male leads are fantastic in their own way.

This series actually made me yell at it out loud while reading at times. If you are a lover of monsters, magic, romance and Victoriana I would recommend that you give this read.

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London Outfit of the Day (2)

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Coat: Next

Shirt: Primark (Men’s wear)

Skirt: New Look

Shoes: New Look

Scarf: Primark

Belt: Sainsburys

Skull Necklace: Primark

This outfit is the one I am planning on wearing to my trip to Baker Street in London. I have been an avid Sherlock Holmes fan for around 15 years so visiting the museum is a must every time I visit London. This outfit is based mainly on the BBC series of Sherlock Holmes. I am rather fond of wearing men’s button down shirts as they are easily turned feminine when you add a belt to highlight your waist and undo a few of the top buttons. Once more I have chosen my shoes for comfort rather than looks as I will have to catch a few trains to get from my hotel to Baker Street.

 

 

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